Turntable / arm upgrades - what will I hear?

I bought a used VPI HW19 / Souther Linear Tracker / Talisman Virtuoso rig a while back. The seller said the cartridge had a lot of hours on it, and strongly recommended replacing it. I got a Clearaudio Maestro, but want to refinish the table (it's oak, I want it black), so in the meantime, put the Maestro on my old Dual 616Q. It sounds pretty good. For fun, I put the VPI rig in the system, and found that although the mids and highs lacked resolution in complex passages, there was a strong sense of power from the rig that is hard to describe; not more bass, not louder, but bigger. Eventually, I'll get around to putting the Clearaudio on the VPI, and I'll know for myself what's doing what, but in the meantime, I want to ask you all if the more powerful presentation is something I can expect from replacing the Dual with the VPI / Souther, or if that is more a function of the cartridge. I'm hoping I'll get the best of both, but don't really know. Is this the type of thing an improved arm & table do? I hope you don't mind me sharing my anticipation and excitement!
You will probably get answers all over the map. My experience is that cartridges make a huge difference - different manufacturers produce cartridges with distinct "personalities.". But I would also expect a properly functioning linear tonearm to make a big difference, too. There are other important factors that can make a difference, like speed stability and vibration damping. All in all, I'd be surprised if you don't find that the VPI table offers an improvement over the Dual with any cartridge, and that with a cartridge that suits your taste the improvement is even greater.
This bigger, more powerful sound that you mention is, I believe, very much because of the turntable itself, not arm/cartridge, though they seriously contribute too of course. Really good table should sound that way even with modest but well-matched arm/cartridge. Put a $300 MM Goldring on Brinkmann Balance or SME 30, and it will be a hell of a sound.
When the table is mediocre and overrated, you will hear more bass and a push in the midrange. When the table is more serious from Design it is possible to hear an improvement in the higher frequencies, a better and deeper soundstage, a silence between the notes and much more micro details.
A better Arm will track through everything out there without compression in the inner tracks, no sharp "s" in the voicing and a superior separation of dynamic swings.